Colby Lewis wasn't perfect in Monday's start against the Kansas City Royals, but he was pretty darn solid, especially when you throw out one regrettable pitch he made to all-star catcher Salvador Perez.
The Texas Rangers veteran righty lasted seven innings and settled down after a big home run from Perez to leave Monday's game having allowed four runs in seven innings with five strikeouts and a walk. And it's becoming a trend for Lewis to be incredibly solid. Not great, something Lewis has rarely been in his career, but pretty darn solid.
In fact, since the all-star break, Lewis has averaged 6 2/3 innings per start, which is more than you can say for any other Rangers starter. Lewis has reinvented himself after undergoing an unprecedented hip resurfacing procedure — just a less invasive hip replacement, basically. He's pitched his entire career with a chronic hip condition and now says it's better than it's ever been.
It took Lewis a while to figure out how to pitch without pain, for which he had to alter his motion and delivery, but it seems like he has now.
"He knows how to pitch," Rangers manager Ron Washington said, "and that hip is healthy enough that he can execute his pitches when he feels it, and tonight he did a good job of managing that game and giving us a chance. We had a chance."
Lewis has tossed two complete games over the past month and has been the Rangers' best starter over the second half, especially when you consider Yu Darvish's struggles before being shut down with elbow inflammation.
It's not a lock that Lewis will be back in 2015 — he's free this winter — but he's already made it public he wants to return, and the Rangers would likely oblige that as long as the price is right, and it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be.
His veteran presence is huge for the Rangers' staff, and they're going to be looking for at least two starting pitchers this offseason — an ace to complement Darvish and a mid- to back-end guy, which Lewis would fit to a tee.
When your fourth or fifth starter averages six innings per start and gives your team a chance to win, that's all you want in that spot. Lewis would be a very cheap fix there.